Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I first heard the term "Sustainability" from my roommate ( who later became a best friend and bridesmaid) Michelle Stevens. It was within the first few days of our meeting my freshman year, she described the AP Sustainability class she'd taken at her high school in Oregon. Only in Oregon right?

As I continued my studies, sustainability continued to pop up as a more and more important issue. I read books such as The Age of Missing Information by Bill McKibben, which drew to my attention the cultural problem of a disconnect from nature. I co-wrote a 20 page paper about it. I fell in love with Wendell Berry. I started a pinterest board. I cherished finding this book at Justin's grandma's...

Justin and I have enjoyed several of the longest conversations we've ever had ( remember how he doesn't really talk much?) about "organic" food and farmers' markets. Between his interest in health and preventative medicine, and my own theories about the socio-cultural benefits of local growing and reconnecting with nature we could go on for hours.

In the end though, my dear husband in all of his wisdom has again led me to ask myself this question; What am I doing about it? I defended myself to him by saying that even little changes were big ones for me, but as I go through this whole "being present" phase I can't help thinking that if this really is something I believe in /cherish, then I can't just file it away for the "when we get rich enough to buy a little plot of land" future.

These are the little things I am doing now:

1)Opening the blinds each morning and turning off lights whenever they are on

2)Reading books and articles about sustainability and living off the land

3)Asking Grandparents about growing up, and the logistics of homesteading ( so far I've learned about raising rabbits for meat, dairy cows, beef cows, sheep, bee-keeping, and horses)

4)Trying to change my clothes less, and re-wearing clothing that isn't soiled before washing it

5)Helping Justin's grandma( and learning in the process) tend a vegetable garden
Our first sprout-a pea shoot

6)Reusing and Upcycling plastic containers, paper towels, etc.

These are some things that I think I can add into my routine now:

1)Hanging sheets, towels, and running clothes to dry

Justin has already started.

 2)Using more of what we have, making sure I plan well enough that we aren't throwing out food.

3)Donating to a charity that focuses on making villages etc. more sustainable ( areas where there are inefficient water sources etc.

4)Eating healthier

5)Taking more nature walks, spending more time in the backyard, camping more.

6)Reading more Wendell Berry :)

 What do you think? What does sustainability mean to you? Can you think of something I should add to my list?

My basil and chives

1 comment:

  1. Something that I started doing with this specific purpose in mind, is that when I'm at the store, and there are two options to fill whatever my need is- I try to look and see whatever is the most "sustainable" or locally-made/grown/manufactured. If the difference is within a few percent, I'll take whatever is closer, even if it costs a bit more. I know that isn't some dramatic life-change, but it really goes against my primary instincts here in Hawaii. Usually, I tend to think, TAKE WHATEVER IS CHEAPEST! but I've been trying to apply some sensitivity to locality when doing that, and at the very least, it makes me think about what I'm consuming a bit more.

    I like your list =)


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